The Ivy Coach Daily

September 9, 2023

2023-2024 Georgetown University Supplemental Essay Prompts

Students read on the lawn at Georgetown University.
Georgetown has published its supplemental essays for applicants to the Class of 2028 (photo credit: Patrickneil).

Georgetown University has released its 2023-2024 admissions essays for applicants to the Class of 2028. The Jesuit institution, which has for years bucked the trend of joining The Common Application, asks applicants to respond to three essays in addition to one essay that is school-specific within the broader university. So, what are this year’s essay prompts? Let’s dive in!

2023-2024 Georgetown Essay Topics and Questions

Essays For All Georgetown Applicants

All Georgetown applicants must answer the following three essay prompts

1. Please elaborate on any special talents or skills you would like to highlight (250 words).

Applicants should focus on a skill related to the hook they’ve showcased in the activities section of their Georgetown application. After all, Georgetown’s admissions committee doesn’t care if an applicant can juggle. Even if the skill doesn’t relate to the student’s hook, the talent must showcase intellectual curiosity or it’s a wasted opportunity.

2. Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved (approximately 1/2 page, single-spaced).

Applicants should shine a spotlight on one of their more meaningful activities. And, yes, this activity should relate to the student’s hook. If a student is interested in studying political science, the activity they write about for this essay prompt should not relate to physics. Georgetown’s admissions committee wants to see how applicants are going to make the world better in a small but meaningful way. As such, this is an opportunity to show rather than tell how they’ve done that to date through the prism of a specific extracurricular pursuit.

3. Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief personal or creative essay which you feel best describes you and reflects on your own background, identity, skills, and talents. (approximately 1 page, single-spaced)

It’s unsurprising that unlike many of its peer institutions, Georgetown has made few changes to its application in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing Affirmative Action. After all, Georgetown’s longtime Dean of Admissions Charles Deacon is well known for his aversion to change. For example, it took a worldwide pandemic for the man to finally switch to notifying applicants of their decisions via the Internet rather than snail mail.

While this essay is similar to last year’s third essay prompt required of all applicants, the wording is slightly different. Unlike last year’s prompt, Georgetown has included “background” and “identity.” Last year, the prompt read, “As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.”

Now, keep in mind that some schools, like Johns Hopkins University, included bold language that very much capitalized on the loophole Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts penned in his majority opinion outlawing Affirmative Action, allowing schools to continue to consider a candidate’s race in context: “Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.” Georgetown, unsurprisingly, didn’t go nearly as far in its language under its reluctant-to-modernize admissions czar — but it’s a step nonetheless.

Students need not be underrepresented minorities to answer this prompt powerfully. Students can instead write about their faith, community, or experiences, but we do encourage applicants who are underrepresented minorities to subtly make it clear since Georgetown, like all highly selective universities, continues to wish to admit a diverse class of students.

Georgetown School-Specific Essays

For the school-specific essay, irrespective of the school, the essay should not exceed one page, single-spaced.

Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences

A liberal arts education from the College of Arts & Sciences involves encounters with new concepts and modes of inquiry. Describe something (a class, a book, an event, etc.) that changed your thinking. (Applicants to the sciences, mathematics, public policy or languages are encouraged to include examples related to that field.)

Georgetown’s admissions committee wants to understand how an applicant thinks. Through a specific anecdote or anecdotes (no matter a student’s chosen field of study) — be it via a book, event, classroom discussion, lecture, or anything — it behooves applicants to shine a light on how they are filled with conviction. Yet, they’re also malleable to change when presented with better ideas. And, of course, it wouldn’t hurt to pepper — by showing rather than telling — the importance of the Jesuit tradition and, in particular, Cura personalis, in their storytelling.

McDonough School of Business

The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

This essay prompt presents applicants with an opportunity to share an origin story — as high schoolers rather than as children — for their interest in business. Ideally, the origin story traces to an activity featured in the student’s Georgetown activities section. And, of course, McDonough isn’t looking to admit future business titans just out for money. They want to understand how applicants will make the world better in a small but meaningful way. As such, McDonough applicants should infuse their essays with Jesuit traditions — and why they matter to them in business. And, yes, this essay should also be infused with Why McDonough and Why Georgetown specifics (and, no, name-dropping professors and listing classes don’t count as genuine specifics).

Walsh School of Foreign Service

The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world?

Walsh is looking to learn the origin story of an applicant’s interest in foreign service — as high schoolers rather than as children. Through a specific anecdote or anecdotes, which ideally trace back to the student’s activities so they’re showing rather than telling, applicants should highlight how they hope to leave a mark on the wall in a way that can be actualized. Stopping climate change can’t be actualized. Incentivizing countries to be greener — based on specific research and insights — is much more doable.

School of Health

Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care at Georgetown University. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, or Human Science).

Georgetown’s School of Health seeks to understand a student’s origin story, as a high schooler, for their interest in the disciplines under the School of Health’s umbrella. A grandparent becoming ill with breast cancer is not the way into such an essay since it’s all too common and doesn’t say enough about how a student thinks and how they wish to leave a mark on their field.

Instead, applicants should tell a small story that ideally relates to an activity they’ve participated in during high school, that showcases precisely why they want to contribute to the health field and how they hope to make a difference — and always in a small but deeply meaningful way.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Georgetown Essays

If you’re interested in submitting essays that will wow Georgetown’s admissions committee, fill out Ivy Coach’s free consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our college admissions counseling services for seniors.

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